Flexible Research, Treatment and Education Facilities


St Vincent's and Mater Health


Sydney, Australia

Year Completed


Project Value

AU $25m

Holmes Team

Sarnia Rusbridge, Glen Mitchell

The Poche Centre is a purpose designed building providing research, teaching, education, consultation and treatment facilities for the Melanoma Institute Australia. The building
contains auditoriums, laboratories, consultation and examination areas as well as administrative and car parking facilities. The building was designed to provide flexibility in the use of each space, an objective that can clash with the prescriptive requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Holmes Fire was engaged to provide fire engineering services in relation to a number of non-compliances with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the BCA including reduced fire resistance levels, extended travel distances, egress via a steep ramp, deletion of sprinklers from the concealed floor space, and the non-compliant locations of the fire brigade hydrant booster connection and the sprinkler valve / hydrant pump room. Our experienced engineers were able to halve the required fire resistance level for the laboratory areas by considering the specific nature of the research and testing undertaken in these areas. This represented a considerable cost saving to the client and enabled the building to maintain
maximum functionality. Furthermore, by proposing fast response sprinkler heads within the carpark, Holmes Fire was able to justify extended travel distances without introducing significant additional costs for the project.

Holmes Fire also undertook construction monitoring for the project, attending regular site meetings to provide ongoing fire engineering advice to ensure the works were carried out in accordance with the fire engineering design.

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